Thrombocytopenia - Definition

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Thrombocytopenia defines an abnormally low blood platelet count. These platelets are elements of the blood involved in coagulation processes and contribute to primary hemostasis, responsible for forming a thrombus, or blood clot, which stops bleeding. Normal blood platelet count fluctuates between 150,000 and 450,000 per millimeter cubed of blood. If under 150,000, it is called thrombocytopenia, carrying the major risk of possible hemorrhages, generally occurring only with extremely low counts, at less than 50,000. The cause for thrombocytopenia is sometimes unknown, or due to an anomaly in the bone marrow where platelets are created, in which case it is called central thrombocytopenia, or caused by a disease that provokes their destruction in excessive amounts.